Art and Profession



Adults love to ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some kids know exactly what they want to be based on some inherent interest or skill learned from their surroundings or their parents. Some children have no idea, opting to shrug or give a standard superhero/princess response.i Most of those drawn to the dramatic arts admit to feeling something special the first time they performed, heard applause, or made someone laugh, and there has to be a very good reason for people to enter the profession since 99 percent of actors do not become Al Pacino (or even Al Yankovick). The poverty-paved road to thespianism is riddled with tricky potholes that serve as obstacles from continuing in a profession with wildly uneven work schedules and paychecks. The first people to mention the impracticality of the profession are the artists themselves, but they also speak of their commitment to the craft, oftentimes beginning their arts studies in college. The decision point of dream versus practicality is reflected in their major choice, which more often than not focused on drama, theater, or some other aesthetic. Tim Slagle told me:

I started in film [At the University of Michigan]. I wanted to get into film, and then, and then I realized … the amount of unemployed film makers, so I switched to engineering and then I realized if I succeeded I would have to spend the majority of the rest of my life with engineers, and so I switched to physics and I realized that they are the same people as engineers only they smoke pot. And then I started doing open mic nights and I said: “Well, why finish college—I am going to be a star in five years?” (Slagle 2010).


Entertainment Industry Political Comic Major Choice Talk Radio Liberal Bias 
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  1. 1.
    From J. A. Cuddon, A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, 3rd ed. London: Blackwell, 1991: “The term denotes a particular kind of practice in reading and, thereby, a method of criticism and mode of analytical inquiry.”Google Scholar

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© Alison Dagnes 2012

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